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Survivor/During Treatment |260 calories per serving|75 minute recipe

Turkey and Barley Vegetable Soup

This content was last updated on May 6, 2020

This soup is comforting and delicious and is a great option for those who have trouble swallowing. It is also high in protein, which is important for healing, and a good source of fiber, which helps promote healthy bowel movements. To save time, make barley ahead of time or swap it out for quinoa, which has a shorter cooking time.

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  • 3/4 cup pearled barley, uncooked
  • 5 1/2 cups water, divided
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 yellow squash, finely diced
  • 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can French cut green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 260 calories, 13 g total fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 60 mg cholesterol, 24 g carbohydrates, 21 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 640 mg sodium.


  1. In a large pot, add barley, 1½ cups water and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer and cover for 45 minutes until water is absorbed.
  2. While barley is cooking, brown turkey with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in medium skillet. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in large stockpot. Add onion, celery, zucchini and squash. Sauté for 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes, green beans, remaining water, broth, oregano, salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  6. Add turkey and barley to soup. Heat through.
  7. Top with Parmesan cheese, if using.


Recipe in partnership with Cancer Support Community.

Cacner support community

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We love to hear from the community! If you made the recipe, please choose a star rating, too.

Beautiful, delicious soup

November 7, 2021

It’s delicious and such a comfort soup. First made it for my Dad who had pancreatic cancer. He ate it and did well.

Mary Myers